Kangaroo-People Abortion Ethics

Yes, it’s true: in the alternate universe, that little thing on the left grew up to be vocal feminist, writer and abortion advocate, Kangaroo-Person Lena Dunham!

I have been reading about marsupials and kangaroos. Don’t ask why. But it got me thinking…

Imagine, if you will, a parallel universe where the human race evolved, due to the vicissitudes of chaos, from marsupials rather than primates. In every respect, the  Kangaroo-People have developed as we have. Same nations, same traditions, same institutions, same ethical standards, life expectancy, gender distinctions, laws, culture and politics. The only difference is that in this universe, the Kangaroo-People give birth like kangaroos, as females have the same reproductive equipment as their kangaroos ancestors  To look at them, you’d never know. Kangaroo Person Kate Upton looks exactly like ours;  Kangaroo Person Hillary Clinton could walk up to our Bill and he’d never know the difference. (She does have a safe place to keep her Blackberries, though.)

After a few weeks of gestation, baby Kangaroo-People are born at about the size and shape of a jellybean, with about as much personality. The Kangaroo-People mother guides her offspring by licking a path from her cloaca ( which leads into three vaginas, just like regular kangaroos in this universe) to her pouch. The baby is essentially still a fetus at this point, with incompletely developed  eyes, ears, organs and central nervous system. It does have claws, so it can crawl,  and an olfactory bulb, the section of its brain devoted to the sense of smell. This allows the baby to follow the scent of mom’s saliva into the pouch. There it latches on to a teat, and holds on as involuntary contractions of muscles in the mother’s  stomach wall force milk out of her mammary glands to the growing fetus/baby. 235 days or more later, the baby, now fully developed, emerges from the pouch. Before that, the baby Kangaroo-Person gets strong enough to periodically let go of the teat, and crawl around the pouch.

Kangaroo People celebrate their birthdays based on when they were born, of course. They also are named by Mom and Dad, and have their birth certificates filed. Continue reading

Religion + The Right Of A Woman To Control Her Own Body=Murder

[I am tired, having engaged in a knockdown, drag-out session on legal ethics with a lively group of Federal bar practitioners. This was not the issue I wanted to come home to for the last post of the day. In fact, I gave up and am posting it this morning. Funny, the issue isn’t any easier now than it was yesterday.]

Charles Taze Russell, founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, and still getting kids killed since 1879.

Charles Taze Russell, founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and still getting kids killed since 1879.

A pregnant woman who was a Jehovah’s Witness checked into a Sydney, Australia hospital suffering from leukemia. She directed the staff that her treatment could not include blood transfusions, as her religious beliefs forbade them. She suffered from acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which is treatable, and often successfully. According to The American Cancer Society, “more than 90% of patients with APL go into remission with standard induction treatment.” Pregnant women with the cancer have an 83 percent remission rate, and their babies have a high rate of survival when their mothers are diagnosed in their second or third trimesters.

In the end, the fetus and the mother died for want of proper treatment.  “Staff were distressed, grappling with what was perceived as two ‘avoidable’ deaths,” doctors at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Australia wrote in a letter published this month in the Internal Medicine Journal.

Well, they should be distressed: they aided and abetted negligent homicide.  Continue reading

Legal/Ethical Train Wreck in Indiana: The Case of the Poisoned Fetus

Mother, failed suicide, accused murderer, and ethics train wreck engineer.

If there are logical and ethical holes in a law, you can count on a case eventually coming along that will make them obvious and painful. Thus it is that the the case of Bei Bei Shuai, a Chinese immigrant living in Indiana, was concocted by the vengeful Gods of Inconsistency to highlight some of the legal problems in two notorious ethical gray areas, abortion and suicide. I’m not going to even try to solve the mess. It’s hard enough to describe it.

Suicide is illegal in Indiana, but attempted suicide is not. In Indiana, as in most jurisdictions, however, if one’s unsuccessful  suicide kills another by accident, that could be prosecuted as manslaughter, through the doctrine of transferred intent. In the case of Shuai, she drank poison, ostensibly to kill herself. But she also wrote a note saying that she was “taking the baby.” Of course, when a pregnant woman kills herself, that usually suggests that she understands that her act will kill her unborn child as well.  Perhaps she was trying to kill herself and wasn’t considering the baby. Perhaps she was trying to kill the baby, and not herself. Perhaps she was trying to kill both herself and her child.

What happened, however, is that she lived. The baby was born, but died shortly thereafter as a consequence, prosecutors say, of the poison Shuai swallowed. Continue reading

Incompetent Elected Official Of The Week: Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey

I know, I know. Soylent Green isn't the same thing, because embryos aren't people.

This need not take very long.. Ethics Alarms hasn’t honored an incompetent public official for a while, and Oklahoma freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey (R) has pretty much begged for this. You see, Sen. Shortey, citing his own Internet research [oh-oh...], believes that there is a looming threat of food companies using ground-up aborted fetuses in their products, and thus has proposed a bill that decrees that…

“…No person or entity shall manufacture or knowingly sell food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.

Even though absolutely nobody else knows of any hint or rumor that Embryo Helper or anything similar is poised to hit the shelves, Sen. Shortey says that he introduced the bill as a warning to companies who might otherwise consider putting boxes of Fetus Frosted Flakes on Oklahoma breakfast tables, and to raise “public awareness.”

Let’s hope Shortey is successful, at least at raising public awareness that the man is an idiot, and can no more be trusted to determine public policy than my dog should be playing bassoon in the New York Philharmonic. Really…where do the political parties do their recruitment, anyway? How can they even locate people this unhinged from reality and their responsibilities? America is in need of innovative, well-executed measures to pull itself out of an epic funk, with crises in all directions, from the budget, to the infrastructure, to employment and housing, to education, immigration and the environment, and this maroon’s top priority is battling cannibalism?

Way to pick ’em, Republicans.